Lithuanian deputy foreign minister attends events for Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara

On 7 October, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Mantvydas Bekešius attended events marking the 75th anniversary of Visas for Life, which were organised by the Embassy of Japan in Lithuania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

In September 1940 in Kaunas, Vice Consul at the Japanese Consulate Chiune Sugihara issued the Visas for Life for thousands of Lithuanian and Polish Jews that enabled them to leave Lithuania. Taking this opportunity, the Embassy of Japan held an unveiling ceremony for two commemorative plaques, which were installed nearby the Metropolis Hotel and at the Kaunas railway station, where Sugihara departed from. When leaving Lithuania Sugihara still issued hundreds of the Visas for Life right up until the time his train departed from the railway station.

Two persons who have survived the Holocaust thanks to Sugihara and their next of kin, the Ambassadors of Japan and the Netherlands, representatives of the Kaunas City Municipality also attended the events.

On the occasion of the anniversary, flowers were laid at a site of the former Dutch representation to honour the former Dutch representative Jan Zwartendijk, a specially designed commemorative envelope was launched and documentary films were presented at the Sugihara House.

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